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adoption..birth parent's rights.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was readiing articles when I came across this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15801325/

It says birth parents should have more rights like more time to change their minds etc....

What do you think?
post #2 of 23
I do agree about the birth mothers need more mental health counseling part. I could see if you're going through post-partum AND you had to give up the child where you would have a lot of problems. Heck just giving your child up in general.

I do know in Michigan that if the adoption is through foster care, there is a law nicknamed "Families First". Basically anyone related to the birth mom would have more rights to adopting the child then the people fostering the child.
This way the child still stays within the family. We almost lost B's nephew because of this law. Luckily though the Uncle petitioning for him didn't pursue legally (we think he really didn't want to take the child), but because of that law, and despite the child only meeting the uncle once, the uncle would've been awarded the child.

Maybe if someone here was a birth mother who has a different opinion than I could shed some light on their side of the story, but I think its hard to say. Because on one side of the fence YOU ARE GIVING YOUR CHILD UP. Period. You chose to give them a life rather than aborting, but you decided you couldn't provide them that life.
On the other side of the fence, its good incase the child needs an organ donation (i.e. kidney) in the future. So for medical reasons.

My brother and sister in law are currently trying to adopt. The adoption center keeps everything totally anonymous. Their last names are never given to the birth mother and its up to the 2 parties to decide if they want to meet or remain anonymous. The adoption center stays out if it because they had too many strange incidents.
post #3 of 23
There are such things as "open adoptions" where the adoptive parents know who the birth mother is, and send letters/photos and updates on the child to the birth mother. The only reason I know this is because my best friend got pregnant at 16 and gave her son up for adoption and receives pictures and updates. She actually saw her son at a store one time, but she didn't approach him.
post #4 of 23
I have experience with 2 adoptions; 1 resulted in me becoming the Mom of a beautiful daughter, 1 was terminated by my DH & me. In the terminated process, we were matched with a little boy that had been in foster care (with his sister) since he was a year old, until we took him in at age 8. His birth mother left these 2 babies (the sister was 2) with her own mom, and didn't return. Grandma got tired of caring for 2 little ones & had the police take them into custody, which resulted in the foster system. The woman they were placed with was a friend of Grandma's, so you'd think everything would have been ok. Over the years, those 2 kids, along with 4 others, were abused in every sense of the word by the foster "mom's" 40-something y/o son. ( the younger ones were even chained by a dog-collar to bed frames at night; Chicago's WGN-TV did a huge expose on this case). Those 2 kids were in foster care for 7 years because the system wanted to give their birth mother every chance. The birth father's rights weren't terminated during that time, either. Those kids suffered because their "mother" had rights--but they didn't.
I have a really hard time with birthparents changing their minds, and with their rights taking precedence over the right of the child. IMO, there should be a set time frame when the whole deal can be undone. Too often, you see heart-wrenching stories about 3 year old children being ripped from their parents' arms because their birthparent changed their mind.
post #5 of 23
Well i was adopted as a infant actually i was 6 days old when i was placed with my adopted family. I agree the biological parents should get counseling.

I also think they should have more time to decide its a big decision to give up your child.

I am not sure if i agree with open adoption just like the artical says what happens if its not enforced. I am so glad my birth mother and father put me up for adoption.
I did end up meeting them after i turned 18 and i also thanked them they were very young my birthmom was 16.

I think every situation is different. What works for some wouldnt work for others. But it was the best gift ever givin to me.
post #6 of 23
I think every situation is different and there is no real cut and dry solution to such issues.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
My mom was adopted at2 weeks of age. She says she is very greatful for being adopted (she was taken away, not given up) and she has little to nothing to do with her biological family, although I have met them 2 times in my life.

As a child of someone who is adopted, I see the affects, good and bad. One of my assignment in my native studies class is to do a genealogy on a specific part of my family, which comes from my mom's biological side of the family. It is extremely hard for me because she doesn't want to talk about it and feels resentment towards her biological parent. I also think that the adopted family put a lot of pressure on my mother to feel that way because her older sister would get really upset if my mom even talked about her biological family, because they weren't her "real" family.

I consider the adopted and biological to be family. I have plenty of family I don't know well, but they are still family and whether a child is given up or not, the person who gave birth to you is still your mother IMO. It is a great gift (most times) to be adopted.
I couldn't even imagine giving my son up. I was 16 when I had him and I don't think it would be possible for me to have made that decision. It is a very self-less thing to do.
post #8 of 23
Being adopted myself I have pretty strong feeling about this. I hate that because of adoption laws I may never know my bio mother. I don't think more time to change their minds is good though. Imagine you can't concieve and you adobt this beautiful baby. Now imagine that the childs mother changes her mind and wants the baby back. Imagine how heart-breaking that would be for the adoptive parents. Sure, it's heartbreaking to let your child go in the first place but to renig on that is just as bad. I do agree that better support and counseling are a must. I also agree that tracking or the opening of records should be easier for both mother and child. I hate that because of adoption laws I may never know my bio mother unless theres a medical reason for it. I'm so greatfull that she put my up for adoption and contrary to what some may beileve my 'mom' (the woman who raised me and loved me like her own) will always be more family than my bio mother ever could be at this point. Adoption is a complicated thing... and like the individuals involved every feeling and opinion will be just as individual.
post #9 of 23
This is my opion based on the fact that I was adopted and so was my sister. So this is my perspective of things.

I do NOT think birth parents/mothers should have more time to decide nor should they be allowed "open" adoptions, etc. Why? Because it will hurt and confuse the child more.

My mom and dad ARE my parents - not the birth mother/father. I was adopted when 6 months old and grew up knowing about adoption, etc. Nothing was hidden from me; nor did I ever have any desire to locate the birth mother. My sister was adopted at 4 months old.

You see the "cute" adoption reunions on tv; however I believe that only happens in very few cases. Most times its more heartache then happiness when a child seeks out his/her bio parents. The bio parents gave up the child for reasons and you should leave it that way. And I also believe the the adoptive parents put their hearts, soul, and love and tears in raising the child that is theirs - not the bio one. They only gave birth, but they didn't raise the child.

I believe the the birth parent has 6 months to change their minds - after that you give up all rights/responsibilties and move on with your life. You don't try to locate your child, etc. Its for selfish reasons you do so. How do you really think a baby you gave up at a few months of age feels when you find them when they are much older (like teens) and expect them to jump up and down with joy that you are their "mother"? Not a warm welcome in most cases.

As I've said - I'm adopted and thankful that the bio parents gave me up to loving mom and dad who are my parents for all concerned. Also I've always said that IF my bio mother did find me and claim to be my mother, I would politly tell her no you are not my mother - you gave birth to me and that's all. I would not want a relationship with her.
post #10 of 23
GoldenKitty, Are you ever curious about know who she is though? I totally agree that the people who raised us are our parents but at 27 I'd like to know who she is and what she looks like. How much of me is nature and how much is nuture. I'm totally prepared for her to blow me off or be upset that I looked and I think looking before the age of 18 is not a good idea. But, as an adult who knows herself I'd like to know the woman that made the choice to give me a good life.

My story is much like yours. My brother was adopted as well and I've always known I was adopted. My parents hid nothing from us and even offered to support us should we want to look. Obviousely it's not something I'm dying to find out but the curiosity is there.
post #11 of 23
Nope, not curious at all. I did ask my mom a few questions - all she knows is that the lady that gave birth to me was small/short like me and that my bio grandfather was a minister.

I have no desire to find her or anything else. There is nothing genetically that I need to worry about. My mom and dad did make sure of that concern.

BTW my sister and I are NOT blood related. My sister actually looks a lot like my mom's grandmother! Mom had a picture of her grandmother in a christening dress and it could be my sister - they look so much alike I think I take after my dad more and my sister takes after my mom.
post #12 of 23
I am a birthmother from the days when "nice girls" were sent away and hiidden. Birth control and abortion were not available in general. I was given plenty of time to make a decision -- which was the best decision for me and for my daughter. We found each other decades later and agreed that the event, as painful as it was, helped us both be the women we are. She thrived in her family and I know I made the best choice. It was a great relief to learn she had been so well loved. And she liked finally meeting soeone who was biologically related to her and shared so many physical and temperment characteristics.

so... in short...... I am against "open " adoptions - the sort where there is continued contact- but I am in favor of letting all children have the opportunity to know their roots, get answers to questions and a full medical history. So when they reach adulthood they should be permited to find and meet their birthparents and decide if they want a relationship.

In my case my daughter generously says it took two women to make her: me to give her good genetics and her mother to love and nurture her. I agree.
post #13 of 23
You don't need to meet later to know about genetic info - if its given at the beginning. That was my question to my mom - if there was anything I needed to worry about - she told me no - no "bad" genetics to be concerned with.

You were one of the luckier ones in meeting - most do NOT go as well.
post #14 of 23
I was adopted and have no desire to find her ... I WAS TAKEN by the state , that was enough for me ... MY MOM told me what she knew like medically it was a dead end as my birth mom was adopted ... I am curious about my father at times but would never search for him....
post #15 of 23
I guess I got the basics but I'd still like to know who she is for a few reasons. I can't imagine how hard it is to choose to give your child up and I'd like to thank her for making that decision.

I do know that she was a Sr. in highschool and had slept around so much that even she wasn't sure of the father. I was also just informed a few years ago that there may be some fertility/reproductive issues in my biology. I'd like to know more about that too. Of course, with my own history and that of my fiance's (we've also already talked about it) that if I can't have children we won't hesitate to adopt ourselves.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry, my statement about biological mothers still being mothers wasn't ment to offend anyone or to undervalue the adopted parents. They are the most wonderful people in the world and they are true angels (most of the time).

I just mean for myself, that I would consider both my biological and adoptive portions to be my family and I consider both to be my grandmothers.
post #17 of 23
Thats why I make the distinction between the words "mother" and "mom". A mothre is one who gives birth but a mom is the one who kisses the ouchies and makes you hot chocolate after playing in the snow and... well, you get the idea. My mom actually gave me a plaque last christmas with the "adoption creed" on it. I'd never seen or heard it before but this is how it goes...

Not flesh of my flesh
or bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own
Never forget
for a single minute
that you didn't grow under my heart
but in it.
post #18 of 23
I think that adoption creed is beautiful! I've never heard it before.
post #19 of 23
As a few others have said, it's hard to take a stand on the issue of adoption because there are so many factors involved. It's one of those thngs you prefer to be handled on a case by case basis....

I will say that I am always heartbroken for adoptive parents when the child becomes 2 or 3 and the biological parents decide to change their minds and wants custody. We had a big case like that where I live and the child ended up going back to the biological parents... well, 2 months later the new stepdad was arrested for child abuse. Anyway, I just felt like the situation was entirely unfair to the adoptive parents to have had this child ripped out of their family. It all stemmed from a place on the paperwork that was unsigned mistakingly by the biological father when the baby was originally given up.
post #20 of 23
All of the adopted people I know that have met their birth families have ended up having huge issues with their birth families.

I agree with counseling and I agree with giving people time to decide and all that, but for me, once you give that baby up and sign the papers, you and your family have therefore severed all ties, IMO. These changed minds and legal battles and trips through foster care because of the birth family's rights only end up hurting the children in question.

I'd say that once parents decide to give children up, that decision is final, for the family AND the parents and that the child should only be given the info IF he or she asks for it AFTER they are 18. This would make it so much easier for the angels out there who are willing to adopt to do so, without all of this interference from the birth families. If a family member should want to adopt, they should be considered in the exact same manner as any other person off the street, NOT like a family member with special rights.
post #21 of 23
The closest experience I have with adoption concerns my older sister (whome I never lived with BTW because our parents had split up). I was too young to know what was going on at the time (early 70s), but she had been married briefly, had a son and abruptly had the marriage annuled and supposedly gave up the child to be raised by her husband's parents. My mother was heartbroken to lose her first grandson and kept writing the "other" grandparents and the letters came back unopened. I found out years later that she had given the boy up for adoption, her husband had been physically abusive, she could not take it anymore. She turned to our uncle and lived with him for several months to get back on her feet. About 10 yrs later she married a wonderful man, had two beautiful children and a good life.
Well out of the blue her long-lost son returned about 10 yrs after that. His adoptive parents had both died, he had looked up his father and lived with him for a while. Then when HE died he looked up his mother. This guy had become a hard-core military guy, one of the Rangers. She was distraught and worried what how her two younger children would take it. I told her that her kids-a girl age 12 and a boy age 8 would think that having a big brother who could jump out of helicopters and take apart machine guns would be pretty cool. It turned out I was right.

Now he occasionally turns up at family functions. He is a great guy and I am sure he is happy to have some little bit of blood family in addition to his military family.

Sorry for the ramble, what I am trying to say is that I think he is old enough to understand that he would not have had a decent life as a kid if his parents had stayed together. But now every one is glad that it was possible for them to reunite.

Like someone already said, every situation is differerent, there is no cookie cutter solution that will work for everyone.
post #22 of 23
My father was adopted, and his feelings have always been similar to GoldenKitty's...he has no desire whatsoever to find out anything about his birth parents.

As far as the rights of the birth parents vs. those of the adoptive parents go...I strongly believe that the needs of all of them really ought to take a back seat to the rights and well-being of the CHILD. Any considerations ought to be made with the child's rights at the forefront.

I would support a more counseling and time for the birth parents, but only if it also meant that, once the counseling and time had been given and a decision was made, it was absolutely final. The rights of the birth parents should not mean that a 2 or 3 year old child has to be put through the trauma of being ripped from the only home they've ever known.

I do think that it should be made easier for adult adopted children to get information about their medical history and their birth parents if they wish to do so. But it should be left up to the choice of the individual person.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I personally like more "window" time for the birth parent(s). It is a hard and major decision no matter what you're age. I also agree that things should be done in the best interests of the child, but that is a very subjective and case by case statement. What is right for one child isn't right for the next.
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